Keyword: venus

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus

    03/02/2015 4:39:52 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | March 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is not every day that such an interesting cloud photobombs your image. The original plan was to photograph a rare angular conjunction of Mars and Venus that occurred a week and a half ago, with the added bonus of a crescent Moon and the International Space Station (ISS) both passing nearby. Unfortunately, on Madeira Island, Portugal, this event was clouded out. During the next day, however, a spectacular lenticular cloud appeared before sunset, so the industrious astrophotographer quickly formulated a new plan. A close look at the resulting image reveals the Moon visible toward the left of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Love and War by Moonlight

    02/26/2015 6:11:35 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love, and Mars, the war god's namesake, came together by moonlight in this lovely skyview, recorded on February 20 from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, planet Earth. Made in twilight with a digital camera, the three second time exposure also records earthshine illuminating the otherwise dark surface of the young crescent Moon. Of course, the Moon has moved on from this much anticipated triple conjunction. Venus still shines in the west though as the evening star, third brightest object in Earth's sky, after the Sun and the Moon itself. Seen here within almost...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Evening Sky Conjunction

    02/20/2015 2:29:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | February 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Eight years ago, an evening sky held this lovely pairing of a young crescent Moon and brilliant Venus. Seen near the western horizon, the close conjunction and its wintry reflection were captured from Bolu, Turkey, planet Earth on February 19, 2007. In the 8 Earth years since this photograph was taken Venus has orbited the Sun almost exactly 13 times, so the Sun and Venus have now returned to the same the configuration in Earth's sky. And since every 8 years the Moon also nearly repeats its phases for a given time of year, a very similar crescent Moon-Venus...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Solar System Portrait

    02/14/2015 5:10:04 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | February 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On another Valentine's Day 25 years ago, cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back one last time to make this first ever Solar System family portrait. The complete portrait is a 60 frame mosaic made from a vantage point 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. In it, Voyager's wide angle camera frames sweep through the inner Solar System at the left, linking up with gas giant Neptune, the Solar System's outermost planet, at the far right. Positions for Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are indicated by letters, while the Sun is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Mercury at Sunset

    01/15/2015 4:23:51 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | January 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Inner planets Venus and Mercury can never wander far from the Sun in Earth's sky. This week you've probably seen them both gathered near the western horizon just after sunset, a close conjunction of bright celestial beacons in the fading twilight. The pair are framed in this early evening skyview captured on January 13 from the ruins of Szarvasko Castle in northwestern Hungary. Above the silhouette of the landscape's prominent volcanic hill Venus is much the brighter, separated from Mercury by little more than the width of two Full Moons. On Friday, planet Earth's early morning risers will also...
  • Mercury and Venus an Awesome Duo at Dusk

    01/10/2015 11:33:28 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on January 10, 2015 | Bob King
    Tonight the duo will be at their closest and remain near one another for the next week or so. This is one of Mercury’s best apparitions of the year for northern hemisphere skywatchers and well worth donning your winter uniform of coat, boots, hat and thick gloves for a look. Just find a location with a decent view of the southwestern horizon and start looking about a half hour after sunset. Mercury and Venus will be about 10° or one fist held at arm’s length high above the horizon.
  • NASA wants to build a floating city above the clouds of Venus

    12/22/2014 7:32:55 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    cnet.com ^ | 22 December 2014 4:11 am GMT | Michelle Starr
    NASA thinks it might have a solution that will allow sending humans up to check it out, though: Cloud City. The High Altitude Venus Operational Concept -- HAVOC -- is a conceptual spacecraft designed by a team at the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center for the purposes of Venusian exploration. This lighter-than-air rocket would be designed to sit above the acidic clouds for a period of around 30 days, allowing a team of astronauts to collect data about the planet's atmosphere.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Jupiter at Dawn

    08/23/2014 8:06:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On Monday morning, Venus and Jupiter gathered close in dawn skies, for some separated by about half the width of a full moon. It was their closest conjunction since 2000, captured here above the eastern horizon before sunrise. The serene and colorful view is from Istia beach near the city of Capoliveri on the island of Elba. Distant lights and rolling hills are along Italy's Tuscan coast. Of course, the celestial pair soon wandered apart. Brighter Venus headed lower, toward the eastern horizon and the glare of the Sun, while Jupiter continues to rise a little higher now in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Jupiter and Venus from Earth

    08/17/2014 6:27:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    NASA ^ | August 17, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was visible around the world. The sunset conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in 2012 was visible almost no matter where you lived on Earth. Anyone on the planet with a clear western horizon at sunset could see them. Pictured above in 2012, a creative photographer traveled away from the town lights of Szubin, Poland to image a near closest approach of the two planets. The bright planets were separated only by three degrees and his daughter striking a humorous pose. A faint red sunset still glowed in the background. Early tomorrow (Monday) morning, the two planets will pass...
  • Comet Jacques Is Back! Joins Venus and Mercury at Dawn

    07/12/2014 12:21:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 12, 2014 | Bob King on
    Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques has returned! Before it disappeared in the solar glow this spring, the comet reached magnitude +6, the naked eye limit. Now it’s back at dawn, rising higher each morning as it treks toward darker skies. Just days after its July 2 perihelion, the fuzzball will be in conjunction with the planet Venus tomorrow morning July 13. With Mercury nearby, you may have the chance to see this celestial ‘Rat Pack’ tucked within a 8° circle.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Conjunction by the Sea

    06/25/2014 9:47:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | June 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Early morning risers were treated to a beautiful conjunction of Venus and waning Crescent Moon on June 24, captured in this seaside photo near Belmar, New Jersey, USA, planet Earth. The serene celestial pairing is seen above the Atlantic Ocean horizon as the eastern sky grows brighter with dawn's early light. Wispy, scattered clouds appear in silhouette. But the exposure also reveals the night side of the lunar orb in the arms of the sunlit crescent. That shadowed part of the Moon, with hints of the smooth, dark lunar seas or maria, is illuminated by Earthshine, sunlight reflected from...
  • Moon Has Iron Core, Lunar-Rock Study Says

    12/06/2008 8:51:38 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies · 2,063+ views
    National Geographic News ^ | January 11, 2007 | Brian Handwerk
    Deep down, the moon may be more like Earth than scientists ever thought. A new moon-rock study suggests the satellite has an iron core... The moon's core could be a clue to its ancient origins, which have long puzzled astronomers. "Our moon is too big to be a moon," Taylor said. "It's huge compared to the moons we see around other planets, so it has always been suspected that there was something strange in its origin." ...Rock samples from NASA's Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 moon missions of the early 1970s have now shed more light on the moon's origins,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Milky Way Dawn

    03/29/2014 5:39:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 29, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As dawn broke on March 27, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy stood almost directly above the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory. In the dry, clear sky of Chile's Atacama desert, our galaxy's dusty central bulge is flanked by Paranal's four 8 meter Very Large Telescope units in this astronomical fisheye view. Along the top, Venus is close to the eastern horizon. The brilliant morning star shines very near a waning crescent Moon just at the edge of one of the telescope structures. Despite the bright pairing in the east, the Milky Way dominates the scene though. Cut...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A View from the Zone

    03/07/2014 8:44:44 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 07, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Brilliant Venus and the central Milky Way rise in the early morning hours of March 1 in this sea and skyscape. The scene looks out from a beach at Sea Isle City, New Jersey, USA, planet Earth. Of course, Earth orbits well within the solar system's habitable zone, that Goldilocks region not too close and not too far from the Sun where surface temperatures can support liquid water. Similar in size to Earth, Venus lies just beyond the inner boundary of the habitable zone. The watery reflection of light from our inhospitable sister planet is seen along a calm,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Daytime Moon Meets Morning Star

    03/01/2014 10:15:36 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | February 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Venus now appears as planet Earth's brilliant morning star standing above the eastern horizon before dawn. For most, the silvery celestial beacon rose in a close pairing with an old crescent Moon on February 26. But seen from locations in western Africa before sunrise, the lunar crescent actually occulted or passed in front of Venus, also in a crescent phase. Farther to the east, the occultation occurred during daylight hours. In fact, this telescopic snapshot of the dueling crescents was captured just before the occultation began under an afternoon's crystal clear skies from Yunnan Province, China. The unforgettable scene...
  • Were Mercury and Mars separated at birth?

    01/19/2009 3:32:30 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies · 542+ views
    New Scientist ^ | Monday, January 19, 2009 | unattributed
    Line up Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars according to their distance from the sun and you'll see their size distribution is close to symmetrical, with the two largest planets between the two smallest. That would be no coincidence -- if the pattern emerged from a debris ring around the sun. Brad Hansen of the University of California, Los Angeles, built a numerical simulation to explore how a ring of rocky material in the early solar system could have evolved into the planets. He found that two larger planets typically form near the inner and outer edges of the ring, corresponding...
  • Watch the Moon Meet Venus in the Dawn this Wednesday

    02/24/2014 5:37:34 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | February 24, 2014 | David Dickinson on
    Are you ready for some lunar versus planetary occultation action? One of the best events for 2014 occurs early this Wednesday morning on February 26th, when the waning crescent Moon — sometimes referred to as a decrescent Moon — meets up with a brilliant Venus in the dawn sky. This will be a showcase event for the ongoing 2014 dawn apparition of Venus that we wrote about recently. This is one of 16 occultations of a planet by our Moon for 2014, which will hide every naked eye classical planet except Jupiter and only one of two involving Venus this...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Night Hides the World

    02/08/2014 1:41:48 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 07, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Stars come out as evening twilight fades in this serene skyscape following the Persian proverb "Night hides the world, but reveals a universe." In the scene from last November, the Sun is setting over northern Kenya and the night will soon hide the shores of Lake Turkana, home to many Nile crocodiles. That region is also known as the cradle of humankind for its abundance of hominid fossils. A brilliant Venus, then the world's evening star, dominates the starry night above. But also revealed are faint stars, cosmic dust clouds, and glowing nebulae along the graceful arc of our...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- From the Northern to the Southern Cross

    01/27/2014 4:22:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | January 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: There is a road that connects the Northern to the Southern Cross but you have to be at the right place and time to see it. The road, as pictured above, is actually the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy; the right place, in this case, is dark Laguna Cejar in Salar de Atacama of Northern Chile; and the right time was in early October, just after sunset. Many sky wonders were captured then, including the bright Moon, inside the Milky Way arch; Venus, just above the Moon; Saturn and Mercury, just below the Moon; the Large and...
  • Weird 'Gravity Waves' in Venus Clouds Spotted by Spacecraft

    01/22/2014 1:55:01 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    Scientists looking at Venus Express data confirmed that gravity waves in Venus' clouds are concentrated near the planet's high northern latitudes, especially above Ishtar Terra, one of two continental landmasses on Venus, which is about the size Australia. These patterns occur in the planet's uppermost clouds, some 37 to 43 miles (60 to 70 km) high. "We believe that these waves are at least partly associated with atmospheric flow over Ishtar Terra, an upland region which includes the highest mountains on Venus," researcher Silvia Tellmann of the University of Cologne said in a statement from ESA. "We don't yet fully...
  • The Obama Legacy in Planetary Exploration

    01/06/2014 9:19:21 AM PST · by Farnsworth · 28 replies
    Space.com ^ | January 04, 2014 | Mark V. Sykes
    It is frustrating, at a time when other nations are in ascendancy in space, that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama seems committed to undermining the nation's own solar system exploration program. The Obama administration cut NASA's planetary-sciences budget by 20 percent in 2013. It has taken the National Research Council's (NRC) recommendations for prioritizing planetary investments in bad economic times and turned those recommendations upside down. The administration continues to favor large, directed projects at the expense of programs and missions that are openly competed.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Clouds and Crescents

    01/04/2014 12:48:18 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | January 04, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A crescent Venus shines along the western horizon at dusk in this clearing sky. The Earth's sister planet is smiling between the low clouds near the bottom of the frame during its January 2nd conjunction with the slender, young crescent Moon above. Of course the lovely pairing of Moon and Venus crescents could be enjoyed in the new year's skies around the the world. But the twin contrails in this scene belong to an aircraft above Appenzell, Switzerland. Soon to disappear from evening skies, Venus is heading toward its January 11th inferior conjunction and an appearance in predawn skies...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Tutulemma: Solar Eclipse Analemma

    12/22/2013 8:27:30 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | December 22, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If you went outside at exactly the same time every day and took a picture that included the Sun, how would the Sun's position change? With great planning and effort, such a series of images can be taken. The figure-8 path the Sun follows over the course of a year is called an analemma. Yesterday, the Winter Solstice day in Earth's northern hemisphere, the Sun appeared at the bottom of the analemma. Analemmas created from different latitudes would appear at least slightly different, as well as analemmas created at a different time each day. With even greater planning and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- In the Shadow of Saturn

    11/13/2013 4:44:53 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | November 13, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In the shadow of Saturn, unexpected wonders appear. The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn drifted in giant planet's shadow earlier this year and looked back toward the eclipsed Sun. Cassini saw a unique and celebrated view. First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, Saturn's expansive ring system appears as majestic as always even from this odd angle. Ring particles, many glowing only as irregular crescents, slightly scatter sunlight toward Cassini in this natural color image. Several moons and ring features are also discernible....
  • Historic Space Images From The Arecibo Observatory

    11/01/2013 2:51:24 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Popular Science ^ | November 01, 2013 | Francie Diep
    Happy 50th birthday to the telescope that brought us the first map of Venus, revealed ice on Mercury, and more. When Cornell University built the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico -- near the equator, so it could observe the planets without needing to move its 1,000-foot-wide reflector -- people hadn't even set foot on the moon yet. They wouldn't for another six years. Since its construction, Arecibo has contributed to generations of astronomy. Researchers first set its radar and radio instruments to discover basics, such as the speed of Mercury and Venus' rotations and the surface features of the moon...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus, Zodiacal Light, and the Galactic Center

    10/18/2013 10:44:45 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | October 18, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The bulging center of our Milky Way Galaxy rests on a pillar of light in this luminous skyscape. Recorded on September 22nd in dark South African skies, rivers of dust seem to flow downward from the galactic center towards Antares, yellowish alpha star of the constellation Scorpius, near the top of the scene. The brightest celestial beacon present is not a star at all though, but planet Venus, still dominant in the western sky after sunset. Of course, the pillar of light stretching upward from the horizon is Zodiacal light. Sunlight scattered by dust along the plane of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Crescent Moon Meets Evening Star

    09/13/2013 5:39:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | September 13, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On September 8, brilliant planet Venus appearing as the evening star stood near a slender, crescent Moon at sunset. The close celestial pairing or conjunction was a scene enjoyed by skygazers around the world. But from some locations in South America, the Moon actually passed in front of Venus in a lunar occultation. Captured near Las Cañas, Uruguay, this two frame mosaic telescopic view shows the Moon and Venus before and after the occultation. The silvery evening star appears at right just before it winked out behind the dark lunar limb, still in bright twilight skies. About an hour...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and the Triply Ultraviolet Sun

    08/20/2013 9:20:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | August 20, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: An unusual type of solar eclipse occurred last year. Usually it is the Earth's Moon that eclipses the Sun. Last June, most unusually, the planet Venus took a turn. Like a solar eclipse by the Moon, the phase of Venus became a continually thinner crescent as Venus became increasingly better aligned with the Sun. Eventually the alignment became perfect and the phase of Venus dropped to zero. The dark spot of Venus crossed our parent star. The situation could technically be labeled a Venusian annular eclipse with an extraordinarily large ring of fire. Pictured above during the occultation, the...
  • World's oldest temple built to worship the dog star

    08/17/2013 4:28:29 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 44 replies
    New Scientist ^ | Friday, August 16, 2013 | Anil Ananthaswamy
    Magli simulated what the sky would have looked like from Turkey when Göbekli Tepe was built. Over millennia, the positions of the stars change due to Earth wobbling as it spins on its axis. Stars that are near the horizon will rise and set at different points, and they can even disappear completely, only to reappear thousands of years later. Today, Sirius can be seen almost worldwide as the brightest star in the sky -- excluding the sun -- and the fourth brightest night-sky object after the moon, Venus and Jupiter. Sirius is so noticeable that its rising and setting...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus' Once Molten Surface

    06/23/2013 3:36:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | June 23, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If you could look across Venus with radar eyes, what might you see? This computer reconstruction of the surface of Venus was created from data from the Magellan spacecraft. Magellan orbited Venus and used radar to map our neighboring planet's surface between 1990 and 1994. Magellan found many interesting surface features, including the large circular domes, typically 25-kilometers across, that are depicted above. Volcanism is thought to have created the domes, although the precise mechanism remains unknown. Venus' surface is so hot and hostile that no surface probe has lasted more than a few minutes.
  • Venus’ Winds Are Mysteriously Speeding Up

    06/18/2013 7:46:58 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 19 replies
    UniverseToday.com ^ | June 18, 2013 | Jason Major on
    High-altitude winds on neighboring Venus have long been known to be quite speedy, whipping sulfuric-acid-laden clouds around the superheated planet at speeds well over 300 km/h (180 mph). And after over six years collecting data from orbit, ESA’s Venus Express has found that the winds there are steadily getting faster… and scientists really don’t know why. By tracking the movements of distinct features in Venus’ cloud tops at an altitude of 70 km (43 miles) over a period of six years — which is 10 of Venus’ years — scientists have been able to monitor patterns in long-term global wind...
  • The Metallic Snow-Capped Mountains of Venus

    06/11/2013 3:35:20 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 8 replies
    Discovery ^ | 6/10/13 | Markus Hammonds
    The Metallic Snow-Capped Mountains of Venus Jun 10, 2013 03:13 PM ET // by Markus Hammonds Some of Earth’s most majestic features are its towering snowcapped mountains, reaching high enough that they can sculpt our world’s weather systems. But the mountains on Earth are by no means unique, and neither is the snow. Mountains on Venus are also capped with snow. Except that Venusian snow is mostly made from heavy metals.As you might expect from a planet with such an alien atmosphere, the snow which caps the Venusian mountains is seemingly no less exotic. With the high temperatures on the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Clouds, Birds, Moon, Venus

    05/12/2013 2:45:46 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 12, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes the sky above can become quite a show. In early September of 2010, for example, the Moon and Venus converged, creating quite a sight by itself for sky enthusiasts around the globe. From some locations, though, the sky was even more picturesque. In the above image taken in Spain, a crescent Moon and the planet Venus, on the far right, were captured during sunset posing against a deep blue sky. In the foreground, dark storm clouds loom across the image bottom, while a white anvil cloud shape appears above. Black specks dot the frame, caused by a flock...
  • New Discovery: NASA Study Proves Carbon Dioxide Cools Atmosphere

    04/20/2013 2:23:50 PM PDT · by Vince Ferrer · 61 replies
    Principia Scientific International ^ | March 26, 2013 | Written by H. Schreuder & J. O'Sullivan
    A recent NASA report throws the space agency into conflict with its climatologists after new NASA measurements prove that carbon dioxide acts as a coolant in Earth's atmosphere. NASA's Langley Research Center has collated data proving that “greenhouse gases” actually block up to 95 percent of harmful solar rays from reaching our planet, thus reducing the heating impact of the sun. The data was collected by Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry, (or SABER). SABER monitors infrared emissions from Earth’s upper atmosphere, in particular from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances thought to be playing...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Moon Meets Morning Star

    08/24/2012 3:43:24 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 24, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Rising in the dark hours before dawn, wandering Venus now shines as the brilliant morning star. Its close conjunction with the Moon on August 13 was appreciated around planet Earth. But skygazers in eastern Asia were also treated to a lunar occultation, the waning crescent Moon passing directly in front of the bright planet in still dark skies. This composite image constructed from frames made at 10 minute intervals follows the celestial performance (vimeo video) from above the city lights and clouds over Taebaek, Korea. The occultation begins near the horizon and progresses as the pair rises. Venus first...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Trails in the Morning Sky

    07/28/2012 7:09:36 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | July 28, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Brilliant Venus and bright Jupiter still rise together before dawn. The peaceful waters by a small lakeside house near Stuttgart, Germany reflect their graceful arcing trails in this composited series of exposures, recorded on the morning of July 26. A reflection of planet Earth's rotation on its axis, the concentric trails of these celestial beacons along with trails of stars are punctuated at their ends by a separate final frame in the morning skyview. Easy to pick out, Venus is brightest and near the trees close to the horizon. Jupiter arcs above it, toward the center of the image...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dawn of the Dish

    07/19/2012 9:09:30 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | July 19, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Wandering planets Venus and Jupiter were joined by an old crescent Moon near the eastern horizon on July 15. This serene southern skyview of the much anticipated predawn conjunction includes the lovely Pleiades star cluster and bright stars Aldebaran and Betelgeuse in the celestial lineup. For help identifying the stars and constellations, just slide your cursor over the image. Of course, the radio telescope in the foreground is the Parkes 64 meter dish of New South Wales, Australia. Known for its exploration of the distant Universe at radio wavelengths, the large, steerable antenna is also famous for its superior...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Conjunctions near Dawn

    06/30/2012 6:33:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | June 30, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Now shining in eastern skies at dawn, bright planets Venus and Jupiter join the Pleiades star cluster in this sea and sky scape, recorded earlier this week near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Venus dominates the scene that includes bright star Aldebaran just below and to the right. The planets are easy to spot for early morning risers, but this sky also holds two of our solar system's small worlds, Vesta and Ceres, not quite bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye. The digital camera's time exposure just captures them, though. Their positions are indicated when you put your...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus Transits the Midnight Sun

    06/20/2012 3:41:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | June 20, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Today's solstice, the astronomical beginning of summer in the north, is at 23:09 UT when the Sun reaches the northernmost declination in its yearly trek through planet Earth's sky. While most in the northern hemisphere will experience the longest day of the year, for some the Sun won't set at all, still standing just above the horizon at midnight as far south as about 66.6 degrees northern latitude. Of course, as summer comes to the north the midnight Sun comes earlier to higher latitudes. Recorded near midnight, this time series from June 6 follows the Sun gliding above a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Venus Transit Over the Baltic Sea

    06/13/2012 2:40:37 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 35 replies
    NASA ^ | June 13, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Waiting years and traveling kilometers -- all to get a shot like this. And even with all of this planning, a good bit of luck was helpful. As the Sun rose over the Baltic Sea last Wednesday as seen from Fehmarn Island in northern Germany, photographer Jens Hackmann was ready for the very unusual black dot of Venus to appear superimposed. Less expected were the textures of clouds and haze that would tint different levels of the Sun various shades of red. And possibly the luckiest gift of all was a flicker of a rare green flash at the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Venus Transit Music Video from SDO

    06/10/2012 9:26:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | June 11, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that black dot moving across the Sun? Venus. Possibly the clearest view of Venus crossing in front of the Sun last week was from Earth orbit. The Solar Dynamics Observatory obtained an uninterrupted vista recording it not only in optical light but also in bands of ultraviolet light. Pictured above is a composite movie of the crossing set to music. Although the event might prove successful scientifically for better determining components of Venus' atmosphere, the event surely proved successful culturally by involving people throughout the world in observing a rare astronomical phenomenon. Many spectacular images of this Venus...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus at the Edge

    06/10/2012 9:24:43 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | June 09, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As its June 6 2012 transit begins Earth's sister planet crosses the edge of the Sun in this stunning view from the Hinode spacecraft. The timing of limb crossings during the rare transits was used historically to triangulate the distance to Venus and determine a value for the Earth-Sun distance called the astronomical unit. Still, modern space-based views like this one show the event against an evocative backdrop of the turbulent solar surface with prominences lofted above the Sun's edge by twisting magnetic fields. Remarkably, the thin ring of light seen surrounding the planet's dark silhouette is sunlight refracted...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- When Venus Rises with the Sun

    06/07/2012 9:13:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | June 08, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This dramatic telephoto view across the Black Sea on June 6 finds Venus rising with the Sun, the planet in silhouette against a ruddy and ragged solar disk. Of course, the reddened light is due to scattering in planet Earth's atmosphere and the rare transit of Venus didn't influence the strangely shaped and distorted Sun. In fact, seeing the Sun in the shape of an Etruscan Vase is relatively common, especially compared to Venus transits. At sunset and sunrise, the effects of atmospheric refraction enhanced by long, low, sight lines and strong atmospheric temperature gradients produce the visual distortions...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus Transit 2012

    06/07/2012 8:00:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | June 07, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Occurring in pairs separated by over a hundred years, there have now been only eight transits of Venus since the invention of the telescope in 1608. The next will be in December of 2117. But many modern telescopes and cameras were trained on this week's Venus transit, capturing the planet in rare silhouette against the Sun. In this sharp telescopic view from Georgia, USA, a narrowband H-alpha filter was used to show the round planetary disk against a mottled solar surface with dark filaments, sunspots, and prominences. The transit itself lasted for 6 hours and 40 minutes. Historically, astronomers...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Live: Watching for Venus to Cross the Sun

    06/05/2012 9:03:26 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | June 05, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Today Venus moves in front of the Sun. One way to follow this rare event is to actively reload the above live image of the Sun during the right time interval and look for an unusual circular dark dot. The smaller sprawling dark areas are sunspots. The circular dot is the planet Venus. The dark dot will only appear during a few very specific hours, from about 22:10 on 2012 June 5 through 4:50 2012 June 6, Universal Time. This transit is the rarest type of solar eclipse known -- much more rare than an eclipse of the Sun...
  • What to look for during Tuesday's rare transit of Venus

    06/04/2012 7:45:31 AM PDT · by C19fan · 22 replies
    MSNBC ^ | June 3, 2012 | Joe Rao
    The last chance most of us will ever have to see the planet Venus pass in front of the sun is coming up this Tuesday. On that day, more than half the world will get to see an exceedingly rare event: a transit of Venus crossing the face of the sun at inferior conjunction. A transit of Venus is among the rarest of astronomical events, rarer even than the return of Halley's Comet every 76 years. Only six transits of Venus are known to have been observed by humans before: in 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882 and most recently in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Picturesque Venus Transit

    06/03/2012 6:34:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    NASA ^ | June 03, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The rare transit of Venus across the face of the Sun in 2004 was one of the better-photographed events in sky history. Both scientific and artistic images flooded in from the areas that could see the transit: Europe and much of Asia, Africa, and North America. Scientifically, solar photographers confirmed that the black drop effect is really better related to the viewing clarity of the camera or telescope than the atmosphere of Venus. Artistically, images might be divided into several categories. One type captures the transit in front of a highly detailed Sun. Another category captures a double coincidence...
  • Y! Big Story: Annular solar eclipse, transit of Venus and other non-doomsday celestial phenomena

    05/18/2012 6:39:59 AM PDT · by shove_it · 16 replies
    Yahoo ^ | 17 May 2012 | Vera HC Chan
    WDoomsday, schmoomsday. Why settle for dusty ol' Mayan calendars and 12/12/12 apocalyptic visions, when 2012 has been offering up so many stellar—and planetary—sightings? We Earthlings have already been treated to nice meteor showers as well as a magnificent supermoon, and this weekend brings an annular solar eclipse. ~snip~ That's not even the best treat: Venus will be ambling between Earth and the sun in a rare (though non-earth-shattering) planetary alignment. ~snip~ A solar eclipse happens this Sunday, except for the Eastern seaboard (sorry). It's an "annular" eclipse rather than a total one, which means the sun's edges peek out from...
  • Report: Pilot mistook Venus for aircraft, plunged plane toward Atlantic

    04/17/2012 11:45:59 AM PDT · by onlylewis · 52 replies
    foxnews.com ^ | 4/17/12 | NewsCore
    An Air Canada pilot mistook the planet Venus for another aircraft and plunged his plane towards the Atlantic Ocean to avoid a collision. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04/17/16-injured-after-pilot-mistakes-venus-for-aircraft-plunges-plane-toward/?test=latestnews#ixzz1sKAemkMr
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Conjunction Haiku

    04/06/2012 9:35:39 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | April 07, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sister planet stands / together with sister stars. / Celebrate the sky.